Slow, slow, quick – hey, wait a minute, what’s the hurry?

I know I am slowing down, but that’s my age. However, I can’t help noticing that a whole host of other things are slowing down too.

Civil servants, for instance. We already knew that the function of bureaucrats was to stop people doing things, but now they seem to be working on that more and more slowly. Soon no-one will be able to do anything. It’s probably already too late to leave the country.

Civil servants don’t worry about this, because they have large pensions and don’t have to make a profit. Why should they go anywhere? Or do anything?

They are also risk-averse, but so is the whole country, except you and me. Take look at health and safety guidance – any health and safety guidance, whether it’s covid-related or not. One thing is certain: it will be very, very long – so long that you lose the will to live before finishing it. And you forget whatever it was that you had been intending to do before you discovered you needed a risk assessment.

Trains are slowing down, because someone is always working on the track. And traffic is slowing down too – for several reasons. One is similar: more and more roads are being dug up for no apparent purpose. It’s essential work, of course, but not so essential that it requires workmen to move, or even appear.

Then there are speed cameras. Most speed limits are set about ten miles an hour slower than necessary, and if you drive at a reasonable speed you are likely to be out of pocket and collecting penalty points. So you drive slowly, lose concentration and hit someone. Then the ambulance will take ages to get there because of the road humps and diversions.

Cyclists are encouraged, because they are slower. At least, they used to be. Now they leave cars in their wake.

Why am I worried about all this? Because I think that as a people we are losing impetus. Nothing gets done; there is no urgency; paperwork mounts up and blocks any forward progress. So what? Well, it’s physics, isn’t it? If you lose impetus, you lose purpose, you fade away, whimper, get colder and colder and then die.

That could happen quite quickly.